Why I Started Yoga
My experience with yoga and some of the surprising lessons that came from it
What is Yoga?’ This is a question I had for years. Yoga, for me, was initially an activity that was always happening in the background of fitness and bodybuilding. It seemed frightening to me at first and I concluded it was an activity that I definitely didn’t need in my life.
It was only when my daughter began practising yoga that I started paying attention. She had a problem with her knee from when she was a baby. The baby-sitter may have dropped her, I don’t know, but she could never fully bend her knee. Even when she started crawling, that knee never went on the floor. There were many visits to doctors and specialists to try and “fix” the problem. Of course there were just as many prescriptions that come with that territory. Nothing really helped.
Fast forward to the present day. Since she started practising yoga, my daughter is now able to fully bend her knee. Seeing the change in her I decided to take the plunge into yoga despite being afraid of it for years. I have since learnt how useful and powerful yoga can be in my everyday life. Now I want to share the surprising lessons that I learnt when I first started — and the unexpected ways it changed my life.
The first of many surprises was discovering that yoga is one of the many approached to practising mindfulness and can actually be quite challenging.
Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, but it’s not always that easy. Yoga poses are often difficult to master. While I started out with great intentions, every now and then I would fall off the bandwagon. I discovered muscles I didn’t even know existed. I follow a yoga instructor on Youtube called Travis Eliot. He has excellent storytelling skills which take your mind off your discomfort and help the poses go quicker. The benefits I gain from yoga keep me going and I am getting better at it. I refuse to let my mat collect dust.
Another surprising lesson I learnt from yoga is that we can use our minds to change our physical surroundings. Not necessarily change the weather or the people around you, but simply make yourself feel better mentally. By practicing from a calm and meditative mindset, you can start to see patterns in the chaos of your daily life and take steps to improve your overall well-being. While there are physical benefits to regular yoga practice (including improved flexibility), focusing on the mental aspects can reap far greater rewards.
How Yoga Changed My Life
Yoga is not for everyone but when you choose this path it can benefit you immensely. Here I share some of the ways yoga changed my life.
It helped me become more self-aware and improved my posture. I am tall and tend to stoop when talking to people. As a result I was starting to develop and hunched back. I also spend a lot of time writing which can be bad for one’s posture. Yoga has helped me reverse this. I now feel more confident and walk taller and straighter.
Yoga is a form of self massage. Sometimes as we get older our bodies become less flexible. This can put one at risk of sprains and injuries. Yoga allows you to get into deep fascia and loosen up. The resulting sense of wellbeing is worth it. I sleep better as a result.
By practicing yoga regularly, you’ll learn to make the most of every day. Not just physically, but every area of your life. My journey started with a simple yoga class and is still going on. I’m constantly learning new things! I will be writing more on this topic in the future.
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